R.I.P.D. is one of the few non-sequels that is released this summer. It is about a newly deceased police officer who is recruited to be part of the Rest in Peace Department. He is partnered up with a Wild West lawman. The two make up the odd pair in this comic-book based buddy cop movie. They are tasked with going after spirits who continue to roam the earth. The rookie member of R.I.P.D. wants to avenge his murder and talk to his wife again.
The movie has a promising plot but it misuses the decent cast. It is neither the comedy nor the action film it wants to be. Ryan Reynolds is Nick the rookie and Jeff Bridges is Roy the cowboy. Their partnership begins when Nick is killed by Bobby (Kevin Bacon).
Before his character dies, Reynolds is spewing sarcastic one-liners after another. It ends when he becomes part of R.I.P.D. and it becomes clear that he will be playing second fiddle to Bridges. The trouble with the movie is that Roy is not as funny as what the screenwriters have thought him to be.
The biggest running gag of R.I.P.D. involves Roy and Nick’s disguises when they visit earth. Nick looks like an old Asian guy (James Hong) and Roy is Victoria Secret model Marisa Miller. It is funny the first time but the joke gets old fast.
The afterlife in R.I.P.D. is a bureaucratic hell. It has an Eternal Affairs department with its head played by Mary-Louise Parker. The wordplay of the department is the highpoint of the humor that is found in the movie.
Much of R.I.P.D. is spent with Roy and Nick chasing after computer generated spirits. But there’s no sense of danger in the movie because the two protagonists are invincible. They are bumped by buses and jump off buildings but they revive right on the spot.